Steven Gerrard on challenge and “less pressure” of MLS, as Liverpool legend prepares for Anfield finale


Ahead of his final game as a Liverpool player at Anfield this Saturday against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), the Reds’ legendary captain has been reflecting on his 17-year career at Liverpool as well as looking ahead to the future.

[ RELATED: Gerrard’s reason for MLS move ]

Steven Gerrard joined Liverpool as an eight-year old and has led them to UEFA Champions League success and has won just about every trophy going, expect for one: the Premier League.

In an interview with Sky Sports Gerrard spoke about his highs and lows as a Liverpool player over the years, saying that Liverpool’s failure to clinch the PL trophy last year would undoubtedly be the low point, while he finished by talking about the next chapter in his career, his move to the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer.

“It is a great challenge. It is a good time. I am coming up to my 35th birthday and it is a good chance for me to go and enjoy a couple years of my life with less pressure. Spend more time with my family,” Gerrard said. “I am still in good condition. I still enjoy my football. I can still start football matches and compete for some trophies over in the States. That is one of the reasons why I decided to do it. I wasn’t keen on becoming a squad player here or a sub or a bit-part player. That’s not me being selfish, it’s just not for me. Being a footballer the enjoyment comes from starting games and trying to win every time you go out there.”

Now, fans of MLS and LA may read this and start thinking “hang on a minute, is this guy coming to MLS for a vacation?” But what Gerrard is trying to say is that at the end of his career he didn’t want to hang around at Liverpool and just be a sub. The pressures and demands on a hometown hero who has never been at another club for 27 years is immense and now Gerrard and his family can start a new life in California, but he still expects to win every time he steps on the pitch and seems to be embracing the challenge of MLS as he smiled broadly when the question surrounding his next step came up.

The former English national team captain is obviously earmarking success with LA and his experience with one of the most prestigious clubs in the world will hold him in good stead to lead LA’s charge towards a second-straight MLS Cup titles in the second half of the 2015 season. That and his potential partnership with reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane could well blow MLS opponents away. Let’s wait and see.

Gerrard may well be saying an emotional farewell to Anfield on Saturday, but he already has one eye on his future in MLS. Good news LA fans, Stevie G’s arrival is imminent.